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Tax season is also scam season

March 8, 2011
By Sheriff Gary Ballweg

ESCANABA - Tax season brings a multitude of opportunities for scam artists to prey on the public.

Phishing emails that appear to be from the IRS are beginning to pop up in abundance. An e-mail will appear that states that your return has been rejected and asks that you fill in the blanks on a form. Another is the "audit questionnaire." This scam preys on the public's fear of the IRS by sending an official looking email which says you are being audited and you must fill out the attached questionnaire by a certain date or face costly penalties. The questionnaire asks for personal information including your Social Security number and date of birth. Don't do it!

As with any email posing as official communication from the IRS there are two things to remember. First, the IRS doesn't need your personal information - they already have it. Second, the IRS never initiates email communication with taxpayers. Whether the email is an audit notice, request for bank account information to complete a refund or notice of an "extra" refund - it is just another way for the bad guys to try to get your money.

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Gary Ballweg is sheriff of Delta County



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